A challenge the War against the Coronavirus
We started this year 2020 with the news of a virus that was spreading as far as Wuhan, in China. The expectation of facing a pandemic seemed as distant as the location of those first outbreaks reported by the CDC. We relied on what we have heard for years about new viruses and strains in which they have emerged in the Middle East, Africa, and other nearby countries, but they seemed to be contained regionally. In this case, the new coronavirus strain, which was named COVID-19, would cross traditional barriers and bring a pandemic to this generation. We now have SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2) among us.
The chain of infection
All the scientists’ attention has been focused on studying the virus to know its structure, its virulence, its mode of infection and type of transmission, while a large group also directed their research to develop tests to detect it and analyze new treatment options and which are available and work efficiently.
They quickly discovered that transmission was person-to-person, and although it was initially thought to be contained in the air, it was soon determined to be contained in tiny droplets that could remain suspended for an unspecified period of time. That led us to the implementation of security measures, where the use of masks by the entire population seemed the appropriate suggestion to stop the virus.
Months later, we continue to struggle with this pandemic, and we can see a widespread mood of longing to live a normal life, as we called it before the coronavirus. This has led to an increase in new cases, and new places identified in various countries as the new outbreaks of high contagion.
As health professionals, we have a challenge in the face of this pandemic. It is time to shine in our profession. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also defined whether your profession is your vocation, evidenced in the casualties of employees who have not wanted to risk their lives in this emergency. They are generally in the minority, and those who continue to work are more aware of the importance of the work they perform.
This war against the coronavirus shows us the need for new leaders. The health professional now has the opportunity to be a key player, active on the defense lines in this crisis. Patients trust their healthcare providers more than the recommendations of the government and / or public entities. Patients already trust their lives for their care, and this leads them to internalize the recommendations that are provided by their health care professional. Together we can stop this chain of infections.
Let us study the chain of infection in order to be proactive in stopping it and to end this pandemic.
|Chain Link||Detail||Actions to help break this each link|
|Infectious agent||A microorganism is causing this disease when present in sufficient quantity.|| – If ill, seek treatment|
– Use appropriate disinfectants according the pathogen involved
|Reservoir||The place where pathogens can thrive and reproduce, such as in people, environment or surfaces.||– Perform frequent hand hygiene|
– Keep a clean environment
– Disinfect surfaces with effective disinfectants
|Exit Portal||It is how the pathogen exits the reservoir. Examples include coughing and sneezing.||– Cover yourself when coughing or sneezing|
– Perform frequent hand hygiene
– Wear appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment)
-Dispose of contaminated waste frequently and properly
|Transmission Route||This is how the pathogen is transported from one place to another. Examples include airborne, direct contact, droplets.||– Perform frequent hand hygiene|
– Maintain surfaces clean and disinfect frequently
– Control airflow with negative pressure rooms and observe isolation procedures
|Entry Portal||The way in which the pathogen enters the host.||– Perform frequent hand hygiene|
– Health care professionals perform aseptic techniques
|Susceptible host||It is a person who can’t defend itself from pathogens. Includes immune compromised and elderly people, and those with chronic diseases.||– Should treat primary disease |
– Identify high risk groups or individuals
Article by: Myrnaly Sepúlveda Bachier, BSMT (ASCP); consultant at DEMA Lab Services